Summer of Making

It’s more than an exhibit… It’s a mindset!

SCI’s Summer of Making celebrates those who tinker, build, experiment and collaborate. Making is a way of thinking, of using familiar objects in unfamiliar ways, of focusing on the process rather than the end result.

Along with a Makers Studio that is a permanent presence on the Main Level floor, makers-in-residence will lead workshops, projects and special events throughout the summer.

Every two weeks will focus on one aspect of Making — from upcycling, circuitry, art, even catapult building — and “Studio Time” every day will allow visitors to participate in extended making activities surrounding each theme.

It all culminates with the fourth annual Des Moines Mini Maker Faire on September 3, 2018 (Labor Day).

Join us to learn what it means to be a Maker — not just a consumer — this summer at SCI.

Summer of Making means…

  • Makers Studio – Explore the design process in this interactive exhibit space on SCI’s Main Level. Experiment with circuits, create a stop-motion animation video, build and test a flying machine and more! Learn more
  • Studio Time – Join us daily to participate in extended making activities surrounding each theme — from fort-building, robotics, circuitry, even seed bombs.

  • Maker Faire – It all culminates in the Des Moines Mini Maker Faire on September 4, 2017. Part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, artists, educators, crafters, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors and students. All of these "makers" come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and share what they have learned.

    More than 30 exhibitors from across the state showcased their work at the third annual Des Moines Mini Maker Faire on September 5, 2016. Highlights included live woodturning demonstrations, indoor and outdoor drone races, 3-D printed projects and more.

Maker Sampler (June 4-8):

Get acquainted with the Maker Movement, and try a taste of some of the activities that will be taking place in the Makers Studio this summer!   

Thinking Outside the Box:

These projects will be anything but square!

  • Cardboard Build (June 11-15): Collaborate with other visitors to create a large-scale cardboard fortress!
  • Shadow Boxes (June 18-22): Design your own nightlight! Check out simple circuits, and use craft materials to personalize your bedroom nightscape.

Biology Bonanza:

Blast into biology as you grow into the Maker mindset!

  • Life Cycle Crankies (June 25-29): Create a looping paper movie about the phases of living critters using markers and coffee cups.
  • Seed Bombs (July 2-6): Help our pollinators and contribute to the overall health of our planet. No green thumb required for this project!

Animation Creations:

You’ll be amazed by what you can make with household items and a Maker’s mindset!

  • Phenakistoscopes (July 9-13): These animation devices are the original GIF! Join us in the Makers Studio and construct a repeating animation.
  • Light Painting (July 16-20): Learn how to use long-exposure photography to create wacky images with light!

Design, Build, Test, Improve:

Join us to whip up creations that move and fly.

  • Parachutes (July 23-27): Explore different resources to create the most effective parachute! Release it from the second level of SCI, and attempt to land it on a bullseye. How accurate can you MAKE it?
  • Linkages (July 30-August 3): Explore the mechanics of chain reaction contraptions!

Fabric Fabrications:

Art, science and engineering come together for two mind-blowing weeks of textiles!

  • Finger Puppets (August 6-10): Get creative with this sewing project. Use a pattern to piece together a finger puppet, sew it up and decorate it!
  • Sewable Circuits (August 13-17): Add some flash to your fabric. Use special conductive thread to incorporate circuitry into a sewing project!

Open Maker Time (August 20-31):

Revisit popular Studio Time themes from this summer!

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